The mayor of Portage has lifted a nearly two-month old citywide hiring freeze. A statement from Mayor James Snyder said, "Early and projected results of trash automation are beginning to have an easing effect on the fragile city budget." He also said early retirement packages have had the greatest impact on the budget, with significant cost reductions in staff and healthcare. The mayor also said estimates show Portage could have a nearly one-million dollar surplus at the end of the year if the city continues on the same course. The hiring freeze was no longer in effect as of last Thursday, the mayor's statement said.
"This by no means is a reason to celebrate; however, it is a reason to thank Department Heads for their long, hard and arduous work ethic in Portage's quick budget turnaround," Snyder wrote. "As Mayor, we will never hire without making sure we have the proper resources to insure that new employee's long and successful tenure with Portage. My staff and I will continue to exercise caution and prudence as we make long-term decisions affecting all of the residents of Portage. This short hiring stay was no different than what many Portage families are doing during these difficult times - analyzing their finances and making decisions accordingly."